Mysterious metallic monolith appears on Dartmoor

Steve Garnsworthy spotted the Dartmoor monolith on Wednesday and said it was like something out of War of the Worlds. Credit: Steve Garnsworthy

The latest in the global phenomenon of mysterious metal monoliths has appeared on Dartmoor.

The stainless steel column is 2.5m tall and about half a mile from the nearest road on the north of the moor. It is the third to appear in England - after the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury Tor.

Steve Garnsworthy, who lives in Crediton, spotted the monolith as he was walking his dog about half a mile from Throwleigh on the north side of Dartmoor on Wednesday 9 December.

"When I first saw it I thought 'What the heck is that?' I didn't know there were other monoliths appearing and I wondered if it had been put there for a reason.

"It was like the War of the Worlds was coming to fruition, where the creatures come out from the crust of the earth. It looks as though it's growing out of the ground. It appears to be very solid and stable - I didn't touch it but my dog went up to it and was rubbing against it and it didn't move at all.

"I think it's about 2.5m tall. Bigger than me. It looks like some people have tried to scratch their names on it."

Photographer Andrew Sweeny caught the ethereal beauty of the monument on Wednesday morning.

Dartmoor National Park has confirmed it has removed the pillar after getting in touch with the landowner.

A spokesperson said anyone wishing to put up structures in the national park must contact them and the landowner first to "prevent the risk of damaging fragile habitats".

They added: "We know people may think these types of things are an interesting talking point, but it must be remembered that Dartmoor is a protected landscape for its importance for wildlife, nature and archaeology."

At about the same time as the Dartmoor monolith, one appeared on Glastonbury Tor in Somerset. The pillar with the words 'Not Banksy' written half way up appeared on Glastonbury Tor at sunrise on Wednesday 9 December.

A stencilled rat - which is virtually a trademark of the Bristol street artist - featured on the back of the structure. However, the lack of acknowledgement from Banksy and the clue from the words 'Not Banksy' seem to indicate that he was not involved.

Photographer Sarah Clarke captured the monolith rising tall against a backdrop of the misty moor.

The monolith is one of the most recent in a series of similar structures that have appeared around the world in mysterious circumstances in recent weeks. There have been similar sightings in Ireland, Belgium, Utah, California and Romania, as well as Compton Beach on the Isle of Wight.

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